Thursday, January 1, 2009

Fear vs. Faith

I’ve been a little slow today. I think I stayed up too late last night to celebrate with the kids. I’ve missed out on so much that I pushed myself to stay awake and welcome in the New Year. But overall things are still going well. Our children are starting to go home. It makes it empty here, but I think the quiet will be nice. As much as I loved having everyone here, 32 to 37 people in the house at once makes for a lot of noise and confusion! But I am thankful they could come. They were a strength and help.

One of the things I’ve learned through this experience is about the strength the gospel brings to us. President Monson once said, “In finding and trailing this spiritual contact with the infinite, we will feel the touch of inspiration and know that God will guide us as we put in Him our trust. That wise and righteous man, Job, declared the profound truth: ‘There is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth understanding’ (Job 32:8). It is this inspiration which we at times allow to grow dim, causing us to wander far below the level of our possibilities” (President Thomas S. Monson, The Will Within, Ensign, May 1987, p.67).

After my tumor was diagnosed, I was a little surprised at the reaction of friends that stopped by. After talking with me for a few moments, several friends said something about how I didn’t seem to be afraid. When I told them I wasn’t, they responded with things like, “But it’s all right to be afraid.” I agreed. This is a telestial world and fear is prevalent. But why would I want to be fearful if I didn’t have to be? Why take on all that pain when the Savior has promised that if I will just turn to Him, he will take care of me? Why trade in the peace I was experiencing for fear? It didn’t make any sense and I have pondered it a lot since then.

I think this is what the Savior spoke about when He said, “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation; but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). This also takes us back to what Pres. Monson said, “It is this inspiration which we at times allow to grow dim, causing us to wander far below the level of our possibilities.” There are so many things the Lord wants to give us and would give us if we turned to Him in faith instead of spending our time comforting ourselves that it is all right to be afraid. It is a choice each of us daily makes. We can wallow in telestial fear or reach out and partake of celestial peace. The choice is ours. The power, however, resides only in faith.


Wendi said...

Wow! This post really made me stop to think. Thanks for the reminder of the power that comes from choosing faith.

Anonymous said...

Sis. Johnson I am so happy you are doing so well, but I knew you would. I was just thinking the other day about how many times in the scriptures He tells us to "fear not." He says that a good bit so I get the idea He doesn't want nor intend for us to fear. As always you are inspiring and I love you dearly. Thank you for sharing your experiences and insight into who our Savior is and what He is willing to do for each of us...TeLene

Addison Chandler said...

Sister Johnson,
This is Addison, Laresa's "daughter" from South Carolina, or as she refers to me, "Yolanda." I just wanted to let you know how incredibly inspiring your daily posts are to me. I know that none of us can say it enough. You are so strong and so righteous that it seems silly to worry about such things now as dating or pitty day to day "problems" that I think I have. Thank you for your words of encouragement and the strength that you show to each and every one of us. Your determination is so inspiring. It was so amazing to meet you when you were in South Carolina and I knew from the moment I saw you in the hallway at our ward that you were a very special daughter of God. It may sound silly coming from a 17 year old girl, but your beauty and virtue glows, Sister Johnson. You are in my thoughts and prayers everyday. Love ya!

Lady Chevalier [RaNae] said...

Sooo... very, very good to see that you are posting to your wonderful blog. Yes, indeed, you are a miracle. I have no doubt that Father has much more for you to do and he needs you well, bright, and able to teach us all, just as you have been doing. Your recent blog on Fear and Faith is so profound as I deal with this so much. Your understanding and ability to inspire has truly blessed my life. I'm so thankful you've been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. God puts those along the paths of our lives that He knows will give us strength, postive encouragement and testimony. You always make lemonade out of lemons. I know you're going to be perfect. Love and cherish you. RaNae
P.S. The thought just came to me. Jesus chose to have the prints from the nails remain visible for the world to see as a reminder of the atonement for us. It could be, the 'C' on your head will be a Beautiful reminder of the Lord's love, blessing and miracle through the power of Faith.

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